This post has been a long time coming. It’s bittersweet, but ultimately, I’m excited to share & get it out in the open with you all. In the midst of everything going on with COVID-19 & being quarantined at home, it is a little scary or even somehow seems like less of a celebration. However, I’m choosing to try & keep as much BAU (business as usual) around here & am still looking for every opportunity to find joy, peace, & happiness. I hope you’re doing the same & that maybe this post brings you some sort of inspiration. Let’s get into the news I have to share: I QUIT MY JOB!
Playing Catch Up
In case you are new around here or even if you didn’t know, I work full time in addition to my blog. For almost ten years now, I have worked as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology. I’ve worked in schools doing psychological evaluations for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, emotional challenges, & learning disabilities, as well as to help develop educational plans for students in special education, counsel students, & support teachers, staff, and parents when working with students with disabilities or behavioral challenges.
While I don’t get the exact schedule of a teacher because I work a few more weeks at the start & end of the school year, I do get a modified teacher schedule & have a nice amount of time during the summers off. One summer a few years ago, Charles got a work assignment in Sao Paulo, Brazil for the summer. We decided that since I had the summer off, that I’d just go on down to Brazil with him & spend the summer there. Think, studying abroad as an adult, but better because you’re not in a hostel & you’re not studying. I don’t speak Portuguese, knew no one, & basically had nothing to do while he was at work during the day. We were traveling all over South America on the weekends while there & it was such a unique experience, so I figured I’d start a blog to share about our travels, what we were doing down there, & a few other things I loved like fashion, food, beauty, & more. Enter, this site, A Lo Profile.
I’ll share more about my blogging journey in full another time, but essentially it kept me busy that summer & I continued it as a little hobby posting about once a week or so when I got back. About a year-and-a-half later, I decided I would put a little more effort into this hobby & upped my posting cadence. From there, A Lo Profile grew from a hobby, to a side hustle, to something that could fully support me. We’ll get into this more in a minute!
I QUIT MY JOB!
Some of you have guessed correctly as I’ve hinted at things along the way over the past few months, but others have guessed totally wrong! No, I’m not pregnant. Without further adieu, my big announcement is:
I QUIT MY JOB!
Yup, it’s finally happening. I’m diving all in to this little space & community I’ve created on the Internet. I quit my job to be a blogger, influencer, whatever you want to call it full time!
At the end of this school year, I will not be returning to work full time in the schools. I do plan to continue to use my skill set & my license to do contract work. My position is in such high demand, so there are always school districts needing contract help here & there to keep up, so I plan to do this to keep the passion I have for my field alive. I have so much more I want to say on the state of mental health in our schools, what my job really looked like on an average day or week, & more. However, for now I want to focus more on my big announcement & the fact that in a little over two months, I will be my own boss lady & will be fully self-employed. I quit my job! I still can’t believe I’m typing those words. Crazy.
Why Go Full Time Now?
Ultimately, I can’t balance everything any more. There are a lot of things about my job & working in schools that are very challenging & that take a toll on you mentally & physically. Charles & I talked about me not going back a lot last year, but we had just moved into our first home & had a lot of things ahead of us in terms of expenses like renovations & furnishing our home, which we are still doing (you can read more about us buying our first home & see some of our remodels to date). I didn’t want to leave & have to fully change our lifestyle as we adjusted from being a three-income family to a two-income family during the time we were spending the most we had to date in our lives. I grew up with a single mom who worked two jobs, I worked tirelessly to put myself through school, & have somehow found myself working essentially two full time jobs for the past two years. I didn’t want to go back to a place of financial stress or struggle. Being raised by a single mom, it’s always important to me that I can fully support MYSELF. I didn’t want to be reliant on Charles or his salary to pay any of my bills or maintain my lifestyle. You can read a little more about that journey here & I’ll share more on it one day.
As this school year got started, I was more overwhelmed than ever. My caseload essentially doubled in number of kids I serve & was testing from last year to this year. Working in schools often means doing more work for the same pay year over year & I knew that picking this field, but it all sort of became the perfect storm. Charles started a new job around October & that month was the busiest I can recall at work for me. Also at that time, blogging work started to ramp up with the holidays just around the corner. I got a point where I was having bi-weekly panic attacks, not sleeping, & felt so unhealthy, overwhelmed, burnt out, & just overall unsuccessful at everything I was doing. We knew then that it was time for a change.
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If I had a traditional ‘two weeks notice’ sort of job, I probably would have left at the end of the calendar year. However, schools are unique in that you sign a year long contract & I couldn’t walk out in the middle of the year on my district, parents, teammates, & students. I chose to stick it through. About a month ago, I put in my notice officially so that they would have time to find a good replacement to have lined up before this school year ended. I am so glad I stuck through it now more than ever with all of the uncertainty that the next few weeks or even months hold for schools & education in their response to COVID-19. Since then, I’ve been telling family, friends, & coworkers that officially, I quit my job!
Ultimately, we came to this decision because a job in a school will always be there. I can always go back to work in a school or can always find some work to do in the field of Psychology. My big hold up was that I spent seven years working my butt off to put myself through undergraduate & graduate school. I am still paying my school back, so it felt weird to quit & be paying for degrees I wasn’t using. Also, I was working towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness to have my loans forgiven. However, staying until that point began to feel impossible. I will not always have this opportunity to be my own boss at something I’ve worked so hard to build, so that is something I really feel compelled to pursue right now. If I don’t just leap & try it, I’ll always wonder what could have been.
What to Expect Going Forward?
Really, you all can expect more of the same. I will be able to share more content, sales, try ons, blog posts, videos, & more with you all. I’m so excited to reprioritize my own wellness & share more of that again. I love to write & create content so I’ll just be able to do more of that! Hopefully you all will get to know me even better now that I can share more throughout my days with you all. Charles was laughing when we really made the decision, because he said that he thinks I’ll still work a ton. While that is true, because I feel like I am just a hard worker, I do plan to create a better work-life balance going forward, which is one of the things I am so excited about.
What I am Most Excited About?
I am most excited to get back the most precious resource: time. I can’t wait to further prioritize my mental & physical health & wellbeing starting with one of the most important things for our health: sleep. I’ve been getting up at 5:00 AM & basically being go-go-go until I go to bed (later than I should) for far too long. I’m so excited to get more sleep, feel more balanced, & have more time to spend doing leisure activities. I love blogging & all that goes into it, but I would love to lay outside in the hammock & read a book on a Saturday instead of working 8-10 hours that day. I want to wake up on Sundays & not rush to get ready & plan my outfits for a shoot that day on top of hours & hours of other blog work. I’m not complaining a bit because I LOVE blogging. I also LOVE my career in Psychology. I just want to slow down, enjoy more time with my family & friends, & bring back some of the hobbies I have not had time to enjoy.
I’m so excited to be my own boss & make my own schedule. I’m extremely Type A & can get so much work done in a small amount of time, but being able to shift my own schedule to fit my mood or how I feel that day will be huge for me. If I’m feeling uninspired mid day & I want to go for a walk or run to clear my head or organize my thoughts that will be amazing. If I want to run errands during the day, meet my husband or a girlfriend for lunch, or actually feel like I have time again to cook more because I love it, then I will have the freedom to do that, which is going to be such a game changer.
I am so excited to be able to have some time to refocus, breathe, & figure out where I see myself in the next five or ten years. I’m so thankful for all I’ve learned during my time working in schools with special needs children, but I am eager to reprioritize & brainstorm how I can combine that skill set, all that I’ve learned through blogging, & my true passions into something else down the road. Feeling like I never had a spare moment to breathe was taking a toll & I couldn’t get the clarity or perspective I felt I needed for long term planning.
What I am Most Worried About?
My biggest fear is really all of the ‘What if’ scenarios that pop into my head at any given moment. Many of which, were the reasons I held off going full time for so long. What if Instagram is over tomorrow? What if there is a huge economic shift & people stop shopping? What is happening right now in our economy is a perfect example. Ultimately, I have to ignore all of the fears & just try. Trusting that it will all work out allows me to ignore my fear!
It Will All Work Out
I’m a big believer that it will all work out. I was just talking to a girlfriend earlier this week about all of our anxieties circling the uncertainty so many of us are facing right now & she put me completely at ease when I expressed that maybe this wasn’t the best time to be fully jumping into blogging full time. She told me that she never worries about me, because I am extremely hard working, & that I’ll hustle & figure it out. I’m going to remind myself that I hustled my way to making this blog from a hobby to a side hustle, to being able to match, & then far exceed my job income to support myself. I did that with TONS of hard work. All of my accomplishments have been purely my own hard work & determination, so I know that I can persevere. You often get out what you put in to things & blogging is no different. I’ve been working 70, 80, 90, sometimes even 100+ hour weeks between my full time job & blogging for years to get to this point where finally I quit my job. I know that my work ethic isn’t going any where, so I know that it will all work out.
Being able to say those words “I quit my job” & actually diving into this role as an influencer full time would not be possible without the support from each & every one of you. I am so thankful that you take time to read my blog, that you follow me on social media platforms, that you share me with your friends or family, that you engage on my photos, that you watch my stories, that you send me DMs, that you buy products I recommend. I am beyond grateful. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your support. I can’t wait to bring you even more valuable, meaningful content once I make the full time transition at the end of this school year.
This feels SO good to get out in the open & share with you all that I quit my job! Today marks the end of my spring break & we are not going back to work in schools for the foreseeable future with everything that is going on right now, so I really don’t know what the next few months hold. However, I am looking at this as a time to figure out a groove working from home & essentially managing my own schedule. I’m so excited to share more about all that I think & all that I’ve learned in my field, too. If you made it to this point, thank you for reading, thank you for being here, & thank you again for making all of this possible. Stay well, friends! XO
Good luck on your new journey! I always thought you were a full time blogger, I don’t know why, haha! ❤️✨
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Congratulations! I know this step will feel like a weights been lifted off your chest. That’s so amazing! Keep up the hard work! ❤️
To be honest, I don’t know how you were doing it all.
Welcome to the full-time club!
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